Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Welcome

Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices - it is the engineering discipline that offers the most wide-ranging array of opportunities in terms of employment, and it is distinguished by its flexibility. While other engineering disciplines tend to apply skills to very specific areas, Industrial Engineers may be found working everywhere: from traditional manufacturing companies to airlines, from distribution companies to financial institutions, from major medical establishments to consulting companies, from high-tech corporations to companies in the food industry.

View our Summer 2017 course schedule for undergraduate and graduate students.

The BS in industrial engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org). To learn more about Industrial Engineering’s Undergraduate Program ABET Accreditation, click here

Our department is the proud home of Pitt's Center for Industry Studies, which supports multidisciplinary research that links scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry.
 

Jan
10
2017

Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards four novel biomedical devices with $77,500 total Round-2 2016 Pilot Funding

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Industrial

PITTSBURGH (January 10, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $77,500 to four research groups through its 2016 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include a new technology for treatment of diabetes, a medical device for emergency intubation, an innovative method for bone regeneration, and a novel approach for implementing vascular bypass grafts. CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. CMI leadership evaluates proposals based on scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. “This is our fifth year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.” AWARD 1: Intrapancreatic Lipid Nanoparticles to Treat DiabetesAward for further development and testing of use of lipid nanoparticle technology for the induction of α-to-β-cell transdifferentiation to treat diabetes. George Gittes, MDDepartment of Surgery University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Kathryn Whitehead, PhDDepartment of Chemical Engineering Carnegie Mellon University (Secondary appointment at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine) AWARD 2: The Esophocclude - Medical Device for temporary occlusion of the esophagus in patients requiring emergent intubationContinuation award for further refinement of the Esophocclude Medical Device using human cadaver testing to simulate emergency intubation.Philip Carullo, MDResident, PGY-1 Department of Anesthesiology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Youngjae Chun, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Industrial Engineering Department of Bioengineering (Secondary) University of Pittsburgh AWARD 3: RegenMatrix - Collagen-mimetic Bioactive Hydrogels for Bone RegenerationContinuation award for fully automating the hydrogel fabrication process, for animal studies and for fine-tuning related innovations. Shilpa Sant, PhDAssistant Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Akhil Patel, MS Graduate Student Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Pittsburgh Yadong Wang, PhD Professor Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Sachin Velankar, PhDAssociate Professor Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD Associate Professor Department of Oral Biology University of Pittsburgh AWARD 4: TopoGraft 2.0 - Anti-platelet surfaces for bypass grafts and artificial hearts using topo-graphic surface actuationContinuation award for in-vivo validating of results and developing a new approach for topographic actuation of the inner lumen of synthetic bypass grafts. Sachin Velankar, PhD Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Luka Pocivavsak, MD, PhD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Edith Tzeng, MD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Robert Kormos, MD Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center About the Center for Medical Innovation The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 50 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $900,000 since inception. ###
Author: Yash P. Mokashi, Fellow, Center for Medical Innovation
Dec
12
2016

Pitt Engineering Student Teams Crowd Top Spots at 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition

Bioengineering, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (December 12, 2016) … Four University of Pittsburgh teams made a lasting impression at the 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition hosted by Auburn Engineers, Inc. by all finishing in the Top 10 and taking three spots in the top five—becoming the first school to achieve that feat in the 10 years of the competition. The top Pitt team finished in second place overall, for the second time in two years. “This is just our second year of competing, and I am so pleased with our teams’ successes in this national competition,” said Joel Haight, associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Industrial Engineering, director of the School’s Safety Engineering program and faculty advisor to the Ergonomics Design Competition teams.  The Ergonomics Design Competition began with a Preliminary Design project that challenged students to identify workplace stressors and design solutions to alleviate them. The project took place over the course of the fall semester and required students to apply ergonomic principles in a given scenario to tool design, complex workstation design, design of manufacturing cells, product handling devices, evaluation of work system and other considerations.  This year the students evaluated and compared the ergonomics of car washing at a commercial car wash, at home by the owner of the vehicle and with an “Uber” type service in which car washers travel to the customers upon request.  Students also had to complete a Final Design project, which was less complex but had strict 48-hour deadline. The teams analyzed a pizza making operation and the stressors of each position involved in the process of making pizza. Results from the Preliminary Design project and the Final Design project, along with a series of “Lightning Round” questions related to ergonomics, allowed the judges to select the Top Five teams. The finalists gave live presentations via WebEx to a panel of professional ergonomists across the country to determine the winner. (Second Place overall team. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Lauren Judge, Mikayla Ferchaw,Emily Zullo, Jonathan Kenneson and Andrew Becker) After thorough evaluation by the judges, one of the two teams from the University of Michigan slipped into first place, edging out the Pitt team, which consisted of the Department of Industrial Engineering’s (IE) Lauren Judge and Emily Zullo; Bioengineering’s (BioE) Mikayla Ferchaw and Andrew Becker; and Electrical and Computer Engineering’s (ECE) Jonathan Kenneson. As the second place finisher, the team will also serve as the alternate for presenting the results of their work at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference in Austin, TX in October 2017. Two of the Pitt teams finished in the Top Five. (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Piyusha Sane (BioE), Riddhi Gandhi (BioE), McKenzie Kallquist (IE), Geena Petrone (IE) and Kor'an Sharif (IE)) (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Jacqueline Schauble (BioE), Cagla Duzbasan (IE), Max Jablunovsky (IE) and Anthony Sciulli(IE)) The final Pitt team received an honorable mention for an overall Top 10 finish. (Top 10 finisher. Left to right: Kristyna Finikiotis (IE), Rob McCauley (IE), Dr. Haight,Sarah Masterson (IE), Emily Lain (IE) and Chris Jambor (IE)) The competition began with a total of 35 teams and ended with 28 completing all of the required tasks. In addition to the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan, participating universities included Texas A&M University, University of Utah, Auburn University, University of Buffalo and University of Puerto Rico, among others. Auburn Engineers, Inc., sponsor of the competition, is an international ergonomics consulting company based in Auburn, Alabama. ###
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Nov
22
2016

ASSE Names IE’s Joel Haight Safety Professional of the Year

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (November 22, 2016) … The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) selected Joel Haight, associate professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, as the recipient of its 2016 Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) award for the Engineering Practice Specialty. The SPY awards recognize ASSE members “who have helped advance the occupational safety, health and environmental profession through exemplary volunteer service to the Society and to their respective Practice Specialty during the ASSE calendar year.” There are 16 categories of practice specialties for the SPY awards, including Engineering, and the ASSE chooses winners from its 37,000 members nationwide.Dr. Haight has been a member of ASSE since 1985. He joined the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. In the previous 33 years he served as Chief of the Human Factors Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at their Pittsburgh Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, where he managed a research branch of 35-40 researchers in the areas of ergonomics, cognitive engineering, human behavior and training. Dr. Haight also served for nearly 10 years, as an Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Haight worked as a manager and engineer for the Chevron Corporation for 18 years prior to joining the faculty at Penn State. His research interests include health and safety management systems intervention effectiveness measurement and optimization and human performance measurement in automated control system design He serves as the chair of the research committee for the ASSE foundation and Board of Trustees member. He is the editor in chief and contributing author of Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering published by J.W. Wiley and Sons in 2013 and the Safety Professionals Handbook published by ASSE in 2012. In addition, he has published nearly 60 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.Dr. Haight is also an active member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Institute of Industrial Engineers and American Industrial Hygiene Association. He is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Alabama and certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygienists. ###
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Nov
10
2016

Engineering research at Pitt, Air Force, and South Korea shines light on self-powered mobile polymers

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (November 10, 2016) … One of the impediments to developing miniaturized, “squishy” robots is the need for an internal power source that overcomes the power-to-weight ratio for efficient movement. An international group involving Inha University, University of Pittsburgh and the Air Force Research Laboratory has built upon their previous research and identified new materials that directly convert ultraviolet light into motion without the need for electronics or other traditional methods. The research, “Photomotility of Polymers,” was published today in the journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13260). The group includes M. Ravi Shankar, co-author and professor of industrial engineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering. Lead author is Jeong Jae Wie, assistant professor of polymer science and engineering at Inha University, South Korea. The experiments were conducted at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Materials & Manufacturing Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, under the direction of Timothy J. White. Other investigations have proposed the use of ambient energy resources such as magnetic fields, acoustics, heat and other temperature variations to avoid adding structures to induce locomotion. However, Dr. Shankar explains that light is more appealing because of its speed, temporal control and the ability to effectively target the mechanical response. For the material, the group zeroed in on monolithic polymer films prepared from a form of liquid crystalline polymer. “Our initial research indicated that these flexible polymers could be triggered to move by different forms of light,” Dr. Shankar explained. “However, a robot or similar device isn’t effective unless you can tightly control its motions. Thanks to the work of Dr. White and his team at AFRL, we were able to demonstrate directional control, as well as climbing motions.” According to Dr. Wie, the “photomotility” of these specific polymers is the result of their spontaneous formation into spirals when exposed to UV light. Controlling the exposure enables a corresponding motion without the use of external power sources attached directly to the polymer itself. “Complex robotic designs result in additional weight in the form of batteries, limb-like structures or wheels, which are incompatible with the notion of a soft or squishy robot,” Dr. Wie said. “In our design, the material itself is the machine, without the need for any additional moving parts or mechanisms that would increase the weight and thereby limit motility and effectiveness.” In addition to simple forward movement, Dr. White and the collaborative team were able to make the polymers climb a glass slide at a 15-degree angle. While the flat polymer strips are small – approximately 15mm long and 1.25mm wide – they can move at several millimeters per second propelled by light. The movement can be perpetual, as long as the material remains illuminated. “The ability for these flexible polymers to move when exposed to light opens up a new ground game in the quest for soft robots,” Dr. Shankar said. “By eliminating the additional mass of batteries, moving parts and other cumbersome devices, we can potentially create a robot that would be beneficial where excess weight and size is a negative, such as in space exploration or other extreme environments.” ###

Nov
8
2016

Pitt researchers collaborate to develop lifesaving "Rescue Stent"

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (November 8, 2016) … According to a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research, more than 80 percent of people who suffer traumatic injury to a major artery or vein die from rapid blood loss. The window for saving lives of people with other potentially fatal afflictions may be hours, days or even weeks, but the outcome of a non-compressible hemorrhage within the torso is determined in mere minutes.The United States Department of Defense has granted $2.5 million in funds for a four-year research collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and UPMC Division of Vascular Surgery. The research team will develop a removable, collapsible and biocompatible trauma stent to prevent internal bleeding from the aorta. The “Rescue Stent” will have both military and civilian applications and could greatly reduce fatalities caused by gunshot wounds, stabbings and other related torso injuries.Dr. Bryan Tillman, assistant professor of vascular surgery at Pitt’s School of Medicine, will serve as principal investigator and provide clinical insight and lead the testing. Joining Tillman on the study are three engineering professors from Pitt’s Swanson School: Youngjae Chun, Sung Kwon Cho and William Clark. Parthasarathy Thirumala, co-director of the Center of Clinical Neurophysiology at UPMC, will also assist the study as a co-investigator to ensure the Rescue Stent avoids the paralysis associated with other current approaches for hemorrhage control.“If there is internal bleeding, applying pressure to the wound won’t stop it,” said Chun. The current treatment involves essentially placing a balloon somewhat randomly inside the patient’s artery to block blood loss. However, use of the balloon can result in organ failure and paralysis because it causes a complete stoppage of blood flow. In about four minutes, we can implant our stent, redirect blood flow and stabilize a patient.”Chun, assistant professor in the Departments of Industrial Engineering and Bioengineering, will be responsible for designing, modeling and fabricating the stent. He will investigate various design methods and advanced manufacturing processes to create functional rescue stents, including geometric/stress analyses, micro laser welding, thermal treatment, mechanical-chemical joining processes and biocompatible surface treatments. Sung Kwon Cho, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, will work on the fabrication of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and vital sign monitoring sensors. The RFID sensor—which is wireless, inexpensive and more portable than the equipment used for internal positioning in hospitals—will allow Cho to position the device inside the body without X-rays or ultrasound imaging.“An RFID sensor can be used to make sure we position the stent exactly at the point of trauma without restricting blood flow from the undamaged blood passageways,” said Cho. “It is the same technology used in a grocery store scanner; and an emergency room physician, general surgeon or resident can easily track the stent to ensure it’s properly placed.” William Clark, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, will participate in the sensor development and take the lead on their integration and data analysis, while working with Cho to make sure the sensors can be identified and interpreted once inside the body.“In addition to accurately positioning the stent, the sensors we are developing will allow us to monitor the patient’s vitals,” said Clark. “The individual placing the stent will have a clear idea of what’s going on inside the patient and can drastically open the window of time the patient has to survive before being treated by a vascular surgeon.” “The intersection of medicine, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering has been very important to the development of the Rescue Stent,” added Tillman. “It requires a great deal of engineering expertise to ensure the stent is compatible with the needs of the medical community. The interdisciplinary environment at Pitt lends itself to these kind of collaborations in a really spectacular way.” ###
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

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